ISLAMABAD: The Milli Yakjehti Council (MYC), an umbrella organisation of religious parties from different schools of thought, has announced that it would oppose all measures taken to ‘liberalise’ the country.

Promising to launch a drive for the protection of the Islamic ideology of Pakistan and threatening to initiate a million-man march across the country if their demands were not met, the council termed the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Mumtaz Qadri case ‘un-Islamic’.

The conference, chaired by Sahibzada Dr Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair – who heads one faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan — also vowed to resist all efforts to make Pakistan a secular country.

Members of religious parties and other right-wing groups took serious notice of a statement made by the prime minister at an event held to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali on Nov 11 in Karachi.

Milli Yakjehti Council leaders criticise Mumtaz Qadri verdict, PM’s speech at Diwali event

The declaration also condemned the death sentences awarded to Jamaat-i-Islami leaders in Bangladesh.

“The sentences [for] Salahuddin Chaudhary and Ali Ahsan Mujahid are a violation of the 1971 Indo-Pak treaty,” Jamaat chief Sirajul Haq said, adding, “The silence of the government in this regard is a crime and the same applies to silence over the persecution of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.”

He narrated an account of a meeting with Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, during the time when the PM was in exile in Saudi Arabia.

“Mian Sahib had vowed in front of me at the Masjid-i-Nabvi that if the Almighty gave him another chance, then he would eradicate interest-based economy from the country and implement Sharia law in Pakistan.”

The meeting commenced with a debate over issues including the eradication of the interest-based economy — but representatives of religious groups failed to present any solution to the problems being discussed. Other agenda items included the condemnation of what it called obscenity in the country and countering conspiracies being hatched to amend the blasphemy law.

The conference also decried the lack of appropriate government response to the atrocities being committed against Muslims the world over, with specific reference to India.

Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed lambasted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for talking about liberalising the ideology of country.

“It is strange to see that a man who introduced the Shariat Bill in the country is now talking about secularism,” he said, adding, “It is time that all ideological parties united to protect the sanctity of the kalma.”

The conference also mentioned a longtime demand of all religious groups – that obscenity on the media be stopped.

“The definition of obscenity should be defined in the light of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and a decision needs to be forwarded to Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) for implementation,” the declaration said.

The MYC also demanded that the government lift the ban on coverage of the JuD and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2015